Kozhikode, Dec 14: Spencer's Retail Ltd today launched its first Hyper Format Store here amid strong protests from trade bodies and political outfits in the city today.
The first such in Kerala, the store offered a wide gamut of 25,000-plus products of superior quality and range under one roof, Vice-President (Marketing) Samar Sheikhawat told reporters. These included, groceries, fresh fruits and vegetables to processed food and personal care products, home appliances to homecare and decor, among others.
Part of Rs 13,500 crore R P Goenka group, Spencer's has 12 hypermarkets, 11 supermarkets and 327 daily and express stores across 55 cities in the country.
Reacting on the stiff opposition from trade bodies, he said they apparently misunderstood about the organised retail sector, particularly Spencer's and what it stood for.
Stating the organised retail sector was not at all a threat to the traditional stores, he said organised hypermalls accounted only for four per cent of the market against 96 per cent by traditional shops, he said.
The official said the company believed in peaceful co-existence aimed at meeting the requirements of customers who expected better products and services in a clean and hygienic atmosphere.
The company provided direct employment to as many as 9,000 people in its outlets across the country, he added.
Kerala Vyapari Vyavasari Ekopanay Samity (KVVES), who was spearheading an agition against the entry of multinationals and major corporate houses in the sector, today staged a dharna before the Spencer's Mall at the Mavoor Road Junction in the city.
Police said 27 KVVES activists were taken into custody for attempting to create obstruction at the premises.
Addressing the agitators KVVES State President T Naseeruddin said the organisation would continue its agitation against the big business houses in the sector.
Activists of Pro-CPI (M) Democratic Youth Federation of India and pro-CPI All India Youth Federation also took out demonstrations on the isssue.